Thursday, June 28, 2007
Western States 100 race report
I am not a good race report writer. In fact, I totally suck, because I never can remember what happened when. But here goes: Western States starts at 5am, so my alarm went off at 3am. I was already awake, hadn't slept all night, yada, yada, yada. I took a quick shower and had a couple cups of coffee and a bagel with peanut butter and an ensure. After, prepping my feet with powder, I was ready to go.
The start is always exciting. It is a busy time filled with lots of pent up energy. I was very anxious for the race to begin.
The start rises more than 2,500 feet in it's first five miles, cresting Emigrant Pass at 8,750 feet. I enjoyed this section, visiting with friends and enjoying the beauty of the area. I kept reminding myself, that I had many, many miles to go and there would be plenty of time to make up for this enjoyable pace.
I made sure to take a succeed pill every hour and to take a gel at the same time. Part of my fuel plan was to take an ensure as often as I could. I had my crew give me one wherever they were. I figured that was a good 250 calories for one Ensure. Ensure plus is 350 calories and I had a mix of the two. I have a real problem eating real food during races, and the Ensure proved to work well for me.
I was really concerned about my right ankle, as I have an injury that was really bugging me as I was going downhill. I ran super conservative on all the downhills as to not turn that ankle. After taking an advil, my ankle felt a lot better too. The downhill section on the back side of Red Star Ridge is quite steep and technical, so I was glad that I made it out of that section unscathed. I used my ipod through Duncan Canyon and then on to Robinson Flat. I love this aid station as it is always bustling with lots of people. There were a lot of cameras filming for the Documentary that is being made, and that made it fun. My crew was great, giving me my Ensures and kicking me out of there in a timely manner. On through Miller's defeat, Dusty Corners, and Last Chance. I threw up once on my way to Last Chance but was able to keep going while still feeling pretty good. Last Chance is a mining ghost town that the marks the jumping off point for the section of the course know as "the canyons." The first of the canyons, Deadwood, drops about 2,000 feet and ascends an extremely steep 1,500 feet to Devil's Thumb. I was surprised at how good I felt on the climb up, although I took it very slowly. The second canyon, El Dorado, is more gradual but deeper, with a descent of 2,600 feet followed by an 1,800 ft. climb to Michigan Bluff. Michigan is a huge aid station filled with lots of people, pacers, and crews. I was excited to be feeling good at this point. The canyon out of Michigan Bluff is called Volcano Canyon and it was warm but the trip through there didn't seem as long as usual. Nice. As I was running down into Foresthill, my sister Shawn, my daughter Courtney, and her boyfriend, Cameron, met me out on the road and ran into the aid station with me. It was such a great feeling to see them waiting for me. It's funny how a person can look so forward to seeing someone and then to get such a boost out of it! I picked up my pacer, Naomi and off we went 16 miles to the river crossing. The water was waist high and cold, and it felt good on my legs and feet. It seemed to help my nauseous stomach too, as I had had a bout of vomiting earlier while on my way to Rucky Chucky. I felt strong and driven as I was determined to win the silver buckle. I continued pressing on afraid to make a wrong move and lose my momentum. With only my light, Naomi, and a new friend named Keith from Philly, I relentlessly moved as fast as I could as I could see that silver buckle so clearly. My boyfriend Matt, friend Gayle, and my daughters Chelsea and Courtney and Courtney's boyfriend, Cameron were at Highway 49 crossing to cheer me on. It was incredible. When I crossed No Hands Bridge my family was there again, whooping and hollering and it was a total rush. I knew that I was just 3.4 miles to the finish. The run into the stadium was totally awesome. I had accomplished my goal by believing in myself and my ability. I had done what I knew I was capable of doing and I had done it to the best of my ability.
I want to thank my crew: My Mom, family friend Uta, my boyfriend Matt, friend Gayle, pacer and friend Naomi, daughters Chelsea and Courtney and Courtney's boyfriend Cameron. I could not have done it without you. Your positive energy and endless love and support for me is unending. Thank you for making my dream come true.